Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 565 – WCOZ Situation Report

565 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 13th of October 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 132 251 after 143 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Matebeleland North with 52 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on 13 October 2021 was 110 hospitalised cases: 20 New Admissions, 12 asymptomatic cases, 71 mild-to-moderate cases, 22 severe cases and 5 cases in Intensive Care Units. Active cases went up to 1 640. The total number of recoveries went up to 125 956 increasing by 114 recoveries. The recovery rate goes up, marginally to 95%. A total of 9 145 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 200 421. A total of 12 588 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 453 224. The death toll went up to 4 655 after 7 new deaths were recorded.

Critical Emerging Issue

Increased Access to Vaccination Programme for Rural Communities

This day of the International Day of the Rural Woman, we amplify calls for direct and deliberate expansion of the vaccine programme to rural and hard to reach communities. We draw attention to the shortages of vaccines at rural health care centres as reported by communities. We note that whilst efforts to ensure that rural health care centres have indeed been supported under the vaccine rollout, progress has been simply too slow and low to make significant impact. We note that this has been exacerbated by the fact that efforts to target rural socio-economic centres and hubs under the vaccine rollout have largely been weak, as raised in detail in prior reports. Furthermore, we highlight the long distances to healthcare centres which is reported by communities as a major hindrance to accessing the vaccines. We accordingly urge government to speedily address such gaps in the rural vaccination programme.

  • We amplify our calls for vaccine equity within Zimbabwe.
  • We call for prioritisation of rural, peri-urban, and hard to reach communities for vaccine accessibility.
  • We reiterate our recommendation for the rolling out of mobile vaccine centres to provide direct support to communities.

Outstanding Issues

New Vaccination Cards/Passports Not available

We note with concern that despite the launch of the new vaccination cards and announcements that these cards are now widely available at vaccination centres across the country, in real terms, two weeks post launch, the new cards are simply not available. We continue to highlight and call upon Government to desist from making pronouncements on services which are not available practically. We continue to call upon government to ensure that its internal systems are effective and efficient such that communities and citizens are not sent pillar-to-post in search of services, thereby causing great distress, costing women much needed money in transport costs, loss of income and increasing women’s time poverty. The new cards are supposed to be electronically enabled, not handwritten, and can be verified anywhere in the world with enhanced security features.

WE note the distress it is causing the large contingent of Zimbabwean young persons who are travelling all over the world as students and are being requested to present better security enabled proof of vaccination.

  • We call for the expedition of delivery of new cards to all vaccination centres as a matter of urgency.
  • We call for the publication in the printed press and television of vaccination offering new cards immediately.
  • We call for replacement of cards to remain at no costs to the vaccinated persons.
  • We call for the complete replacement for all handwritten cards to eradicate the vice of fake cards.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe

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